She’s the Right Man For the Job Elizabeth Entenman

Anything you can do, I can do better! Well, I can at least try now. Recently, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta removed the US military ban on women in combat. This opens up hundreds of thousands of positions on the front line. Will changes happen overnight? No, but they’re in place. They’re happening. And we’re talking about it. Slowly, “equal rights” continue to become more concrete.

Strength. Stamina. Stereotypes. Can women beat them? Or rather, can women beat the way the world perceives them? It won’t be easy, but dammit, some women are going to try. History shows that we aren’t going down without a fight. Like the title of this post says, sometimes the right man for the job is a woman. As the military finally catches up to the 21st century, there’s not really a good reason to exclude women from the same roles as men anymore.

“Not every woman makes a good soldier, but not every man makes a good soldier. So women will compete. We’re not asking that standards be lowered. We’re saying that if they can be effective and they can be a good soldier or a good Marine in that particular operation, then give them a shot.” –U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.

There are some things we’re going to have to get used to. Strong, outspoken disagreement with women in the same roles as men is one. And the media sensationalizing women who die in combat will be another. Not everyone will support this ban being lifted, and many will question females’ abilities to serve. But as a woman, I can say it’s nice to feel supported. It’s nice to feel that promises of the President’s inaugural speech are being kept. It’s nice that even though I don’t plan to serve in combat, I could if I wanted to.

I hope women in combat feel supported. I hope they feel important, confident, proud and know that we are proud of them. And, I hope Kathryn Bigelow makes a movie about this in ten years. But enough from me. What do you think? If a person – male or female – is physically and mentally fit for a position, should they be allowed to have it? Or are some things reserved for men with good reason?

Featured image via ShutterStock

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  1. Great post on this from @terrabear, a lady soldier: http://www.terra-bear.com/archives/3561

  2. Are they going to hold women to the same standards? I think that if a woman wants to be in a position traditionally reserved for men – infantry, firefighting, construction, whatever – she needs to be able to perform on the same level as the men. When I was in high school, we visited the firehouse and were offered the chance to take the physical fitness test to find out if we could qualify for the squad. But… they had a separate test for women. Lighter hoses, lighter dummies, more time to complete it. That is not fair. To anyone, to the women expected to perform the job or to the men having to pick up slack when she can’t. If a woman is accepted under lower standards, will she actually be able to do the job when it comes to time to do it? She’s not going to get a lighter hose on the job, why should she be tested with one to be hired? So, I fully agree with women in masculine jobs as long as they are held to the same standards.

  3. I agree–If you are physically, mentally able to do the job, you should be hired. They had this story on MSN last week and some of the Neanderthal comments were just embarrassing. This is the 21st century. We just want to have the chance to TRY, just as men do.